Jurgen Klopp has praised Erik ten Hag for transforming Manchester United into “a results machine” – but he’s confident Liverpool will rise to the challenge at Anfield on Sunday.
Liverpool find themselves 10 points adrift of their arch-rivals, who lifted the Carabao Cup at Wembley last weekend.
The balance has shifted drastically since Klopp’s side hammered a struggling United 5-0 and 4-0 in the two meetings in 2021-22.
However, Liverpool have recently breathed new life into their top-four push by taking 10 points out of the last 12 on offer and keeping four successive league clean sheets.
“There are so many things that are much more important than football in life but for 95, 98 minutes or whatever on Sunday football is the most important thing. I love that,” Klopp said.
“The whole world will watch it. Big game and I’m really looking forward to it. Whenever we face them it’s massive.
“In the last few years we did quite well (against United). We know so far they are playing a much better season than us but that’s not relevant for this game.
“They won the League Cup final which is a wonderful feeling and then you realise you have no time to celebrate. They have turned into a results machine. They are still fully in the fight for winning the league.
“A strong opponent but we all know in football everything is possible and we just have to make sure we are 100 percent ready and that we want it that bit more than the other guys.
“Let’s use our crowd in the right manner. I’d like to squeeze everything we can out of this season. We have to make the decisive steps. There are five million reasons I want to win this.”
Liverpool and Manchester United meet on Sunday (Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Klopp admits how Liverpool handle United’s 25-goal top scorer Marcus Rashford will be pivotal on Sunday.
“It’s pretty much impossible to be happy about something positive at Man United where you are the Liverpool manager,” he added.
“It’s not that I watch them and hope they win, but I am really happy for Rashford. He had a really difficult year, not performing at the level he is able to perform. I knew this would change again. Now he is playing incredible – his speed, technique, how calm he is in front of goal, he scores worldies, he scores the simple ones. He’s in the form of his life.
“We’ve played before against world class offensive players. You have to defend collectively and he is not the only decisive player.
“(Bruno) Fernandes’ movements are so smart, Casemiro linking up, this stuff, whoever is playing next to Casemiro will be a good footballer. The man-orientated way they defend makes it really physical.
“It is obviously not a team built for the next 20 years. The players they signed are for now and it is really good.
“It is a good team but they have to play us and I would like to show that is different. We have an analysis meeting now and I will try to find a way to cause them more problems than when we played there.”
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(Top photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)